Saturday, July 28, 2012
Visiting cities such as those on this tour is a wonderful experience and I totally appreciate how lucky I am to have the opportunity.
For most football fans the chance to visit new stadia is also a major aspect and they don't come much more iconic in recent times than Beijing's Bird's Nest.
The timings of this part of the trip led to it being a whistle-stop tour of the Chinese capital and after yesterday's early start to see the Great Wall, a few relaxing pre-match cold ones were order of the day.
Approaching the stadium as it glowed orange in the darkening skies was certainly something to behold and taking our seats high up in the stand it was fantastic to see just how much red and white there was throughout.
It was another good workout for the squad who looked comfortable and promising without a cutting edge. We were a little unlucky to lose on the night, especially considering the shot from Oxlade-Chamberlain which hit both posts.
Despite this part of the world having seen a deluge of rain in recent weeks, the downpour that started midway through the game was the first I had seen on my particular travels. And boy did it come down!
Us football fans are very determined chaps, however, so the weather was not going to put a dampener on what had been a great experience, despite the result.
Today has once again been hectic with an early morning flight (on one of the brand new A380 'double decker' planes) bringing us to Hong Kong for the final leg of the tour.
A ferry across the harbour and into Kowloon gave us our first views of the incredible skyline and took us to another 'Fans Party', the second chance to witness the passion from Gooners in this part of the world.
Tonight we fully intend to enjoy the city's Saturday nightlife before tomorrow's final game of Asia 2012.
Just a few hours here has already confirmed how exciting and vibrant Hong Kong is as a city. I cannot wait to try and take in as much as possible during my stay.
Up the Gunners.
Frank @stubbsy70Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 30 Jul 2012